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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will “make its own decisions” in responding to Iran’s attacks, rebuffing allies’ calls for restraint. Britain and Germany yesterday urged Israeli leaders to avoid a wider regional conflict as they decide how to respond to last weekend’s attacks. Just before he met with Netanyahu, British foreign secretary David Cameron said, “We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible.” German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock later said, “Everyone must now act prudently and responsibly,” adding she was “not talking about giving in,” but rather exercising “a wise restraint which is nothing less than strength.” After meeting with Cameron and Baerbock, Netanyahu said Israel would “do everything necessary to defend itself.” He added that Israel’s allies “have all kinds of suggestions and advice. I appreciate it. But I want to make it clear — we will make our own decisions.” Bryan Pietsch reports for the Washington Post; Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Michael Levenson report for the New York Times.

Iran is bracing for a retaliatory Israeli attack on its territory or proxies. Iran said yesterday it was preparing its air force for strikes and that its navy would begin escorting commercial Iranian ships in the Red Sea. Iran has also begun evacuating personnel from sites in Syria where its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has a large presence, according to Syrian and Iranian officials and advisers. The IRGC and Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah have reduced the presence of their senior officers in Syria, and midranking officers are switching locations in the country, Syrian security officials said. Rory Jones, Summer Said, and Laurence Norman report for the Wall Street Journal

Israel considered striking Iran on Monday but eventually decided to postpone it, five Israeli and U.S. sources told Axios. According to two Israeli officials, the Israeli war cabinet on Monday considered giving the military approval for a strike, but a decision was made not to proceed “for operational reasons” later that night. A U.S. official confirmed Israel told the Biden administration on Monday that it decided to wait, with another official saying, “We are not sure why and how close it was to an actual attack.Barak Ravid reports.

U.S. officials say a miscalculation led Israel to escalate its clash with Iran. Israeli officials said they did not view the strike on Iran’s embassy in Damascus as a provocation, and did not notify the United States until moments before the strike, a move that caught Washington off guard. While U.S. officials publicly supported Israel, they expressed anger in private that it would take such aggressive action against Iran without consulting Washington. Multiple U.S. officials involved in high-level discussions after the attack said Israel had badly miscalculated in thinking Iran would not react strongly, a view shared by a senior Israeli official. Ronen Bergman, Farnaz Fassihi, Eric Schmitt, Adam Entous, and Richard Pérez-Peńa report for the New York Times

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Israel should inflict a “disproportionate toll” and “rock Tehran” to discourage Iran from future strikes. Smotrich said Israel’s response to Iran’s attacks should make Tehran “regret the moment they even thought about firing” and be “fierce, severe and inflict a disproportionate toll.” Smotrich is not a member of Israel’s war cabinet, which the security cabinet has authorized to decide on how to respond to Iran. Benjamin Brown and Tamar Michaelis report for CNN.

Netanyahu “should not be allowed to drag the United States and other Western powers into a war with Iran,” Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said yesterday. Andrea Mitchell reports for NBC News.


Qatar is reassessing its role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, the country’s Prime Minister has said. While Qatar has had a key role in trying to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani said, “There has been an abuse of this mediation and an abuse of this mediation in favor of narrow political interests. This means that the state of Qatar has called for a comprehensive evaluation of this role.” While Al Thani did not name individuals, some within Congress have accused Qatar of not putting enough pressure on Hamas. On Monday, Rep. Steny Honer (D-MD) said that if Qatar fails to apply pressure on Hamas to reach an agreement, “the United States must evaluate its relationship with Qatar.” Wyre Davies and David Gritten report for BBC News; Hamdi Alkhshali, Raja Razek, and Larry Register report for CNN.

Palestine’s president rejected U.S. requests to hold off on an imminent U.N. membership vote. According to four Palestinian, U.S., and Israeli officials, Mahmoud Abbas rejected requests by the Biden administration to not progress with a vote at the U.N. Security Council on accepting Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. The Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution that would grant Palestine member status as early as today. U.S. and Israeli officials said that the United States is trying to prevent the Palestinians from securing the nine votes it needs to avoid a U.S. veto. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

Netanyahu yesterday rejected claims that Gaza is experiencing famine, saying “Israel goes above and beyond in the humanitarian sphere.” Meanwhile, food supplies have entered northern Gaza for the first time through the Erez crossing, which Israel agreed to open earlier this month, the World Food Programme (WFP) wrote yesterday in a post on X. The Israeli military also said yesterday that the first shipment of aid had entered Gaza via the Ashdod Port, carrying 8 WFP trucks. 

An Israeli airstrike killed eight people from one family in Rafah last night, according to a journalist working for CNN, citing hospital officials.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not taken action on staff recommendations to sanction Israeli military units linked to killings or rape. According to current and former U.S. officials, a special State Department panel recommended months ago that Blinken disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights violations, but he has failed to act on the proposal. The incidents under review mostly occurred in the West Bank and took place before Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, and range from extrajudicial killings to rapes by the Israeli military. Brett Murphy reports for Propublica.

The Biden administration said it plans to push the Israeli government for a full investigation into a U.N. report alleging that detainees in Gaza were abused by the Israel Defense Forces. The Washington Post reports. 


The Middle East is on the brink of a regional war and European leaders must ask Israel for a “restrained answer” to Iran’s weekend strikes, E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said today. “We cannot escalate. We cannot go step by step answering every time higher (until we reach) a regional war,” Borrell said as he arrived in Italy for a meeting with G7 foreign ministers. “We are on the edge of a regional war with the Middle East that will be sending shockwaves to the rest of the world, but particularly to Europe.” Sophie Tanno reports for CNN.

The Chinese and Indonesian foreign ministers called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza after a meeting in Jakarta today. Indonesia’s foreign affairs minister Retno Marsudi said the two countries share the same view about the importance of a ceasefire and resolving the conflict through a two-state solution. “I am sure that China would use its influence to prevent escalation,” Marsudi said, adding that China and Indonesia “would also fully support Palestine’s membership in the U.N.” Edna Tarigan reports for AP News.


Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy said yesterday there will be a “Third World War” if Ukraine loses the war with Russia, as he urged Congress to pass a long-stalled foreign aid bill. Holly Henderich reports for BBC News.

At least 17 people were killed and several injured yesterday when three Russian missiles struck a downtown district of Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said. Zelenskyy said the death toll might rise and blamed Ukraine’s lack of air defenses for the fatalities. “This would not have happened if Ukraine had received enough air defense equipment and if the world’s determination to counter Russian terror was also sufficient,” Zelenskyy said in a statement. Maria Varenikova and Marc Santora report for the New York Times.


A secret Russian foreign policy document is urging action to weaken the United States. According to a classified Foreign Ministry document, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has been drawing up plans to try to weaken its Western adversaries, including the United States, and leverage the Ukraine war to create a global order free from U.S. dominance. In the document, the ministry calls for an “offensive information campaign” and other measures across “the military-political, economic and trade and informational psychological spheres” against a “coalition of unfriendly countries” led by the United States. Catherine Belton reports for the Washington Post.

China has been trying to find ways to gain access to critical infrastructure in the United States so it can threaten those systems in the event of a conflict, the National Security Agency director said yesterday. Julian E. Barnes reports for the New York Times.

The Biden administration will reimpose oil and gas sanctions on Venezuela, the State Department said yesterday. The move comes after President Maduro failed to comply with a U.S.-backed agreement permitting opposition candidates and parties to run in July elections. The six-month general license, issued in October as part of a deal between Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition, expired at midnight last night and will not be renewed, State Department officials said. Karen DeYoung and Samantha Schmidt report for the Washington Post.

A German far-right lawmaker is on trial for using a Nazi slogan. Bjoern Hoecke, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), appeared in court today charged with using a prohibited Nazi paramilitary slogan, in a trial just months before a state election he hopes to win. Hoecke faces a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years if convicted, and may also be barred from public office. Reuters reports.

Two alleged spies suspected of planning to sabotage German military aid for Ukraine have been arrested in the southern German state of Bavaria. Both men are dual German-Russian nationals and have been detained on suspicion of spying for Russia, prosecutors say. Paul Kirby reports for BBC News.

A senior U.S. Air Force leader deployed in Niger has raised concerns over the Biden administration’s reluctance to act on an eviction notice from the military junta. The whistleblower submitted a complaint to Congress accusing the U.S. embassy in Niger of having “intentionally suppressed intelligence” as they seek to maintain the “facade of a great country-to-country relationship.” The whistleblower added that the embassy’s actions have “potential implications” for U.S. relations with other African nations “and the safety of our personnel in the region.” John Hudson, Dan Lamothe, Rachel Chason, and Alex Horton report for the Washington Post.

The Philippines’ decision to strengthen ties with Japan and the United States at a recent trilateral summit was a “sovereign choice” for the country, its foreign ministry said today, in response to China’s comments opposing the meeting. Reuters reports. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he met privately with former President Trump during his visit to New York yesterday. The Trump campaign described them as “great friends,” adding that both men discussed a proposal by Duda that NATO countries spend a minimum 3% of their GDP on defense. Reuters reports. 

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been moved by the military junta to an unknown location from a prison in the capital, raising questions about her safety. A military spokesperson said Suu Kyi and the country’s former president were relocated “to a safe place because of the high temperatures in the prison.” Sui-Lee Wee reports for the New York Times.

Burkina Faso’s military government has expelled three French diplomats for alleged subversive activities, the foreign ministry said today. It did not elaborate on what they were accused of. Reuters reports. 


The Senate yesterday wrapped up the impeachment trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a matter of hours, quickly rejecting the charges brought by the House related to his handling of border policy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the charges against Mayorkas failed to meet the high standards for removal, adding that the move “had to set a precedent that impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements.” Katy Stech Ferek and Michelle Hackman report for the Wall Street Journal.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced yesterday he is planning to put a series of foreign aid bills to the floor, including funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Johnson noted there had been “significant Member feedback and discussion,” adding that the House Rules Committee will be posting the text of three bills that will “fund America’s national security interests and allies in Israel, the Indo-Pacific, and Ukraine.” Lauren Fox, Haley Talbot, Melanie Zanona, and Michelle Shen report for CNN.


Former President Trump’s hush money trial is continuing today as the jury selection proceeds for one of the most high-profile criminal cases in U.S. history. Join Just Security Journalism Fellow, Adam Klasfeld’s Daily Dispatches from the Trump Trial Courtroom in New York for updates from inside the courtroom.